Mead Lover's Digest #0624 Thu 18 December 1997


Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor



text only, please (Mead Lover's Digest)
Controlling Temperature Fluctuations (Stephen J. Van der Hoven)
Re: Moving w/ Mead… (Bill Shirley)
Bunratty Mead (
Re: Mead Lover's Digest #623, 14 December 1997 (NL Steve)
Bakers grade honey (Randy Ricchi)
commercial mead comments (meadmanb)
Feeding the Must ("Chris A. Smith")
methyglyn (Sean)
juniper mead (Sean)


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Subject: text only, please
From: (Mead Lover's Digest)
Date: 15 Dec 97 16:41:43 MST (Mon)

A brief reminder to folks submitting articles to the digest: Articles
should be just plain text, with line lengths under 80 characters.

Don't send images; no jpg, hqx, bin, exe, doc, zip, uuencode, base64,
BinHex, html, or any combination of them. If you've got fancy material,
put it on a web page; put simple text in an article and give the URL for
the fancier stuff.

I will deal with quoted/printable, but it takes me extra effort to clean it
up, so avoid it if you can. It's a boneheaded format but it's been forced
on people by overbearing software and ISPs, so I deal with it grudgingly.

Thanks, folks,
Mead-Lover's Digest
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor Boulder County, Colorado USA

Subject: Controlling Temperature Fluctuations
From: (Stephen J. Van der Hoven)
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 08:40:02 -0500

In response to Matt Stierheim "problem" with temperature fluctuations, I
don't have an answer for whether the fluctuations will affect his mead but
I have a solution for avoiding the problem in the future. It seems pretty
simple to me, but I haven't seen in suggested in the 6 months or so I have
subscribed to the digest. I have to credit my wife with the idea. Anyway,
to keep a constant temperature, put your carboy/bucket/jug in a larger
bucket filled with as much water as necessary to almost cover the
fermentation vessel. In cold weather, use a fish tank heater to warm the
water to the desired temperature. In warm weather, use blocks of ice to
keep the water cool. For blocks of ice, we use a rotation of two 1/2
gallon milk jugs. We throw one in the water while the other one is
freezing. Rotating them in the morning and in the evening has worked well
for us. The fish tank heater keeps the water temp very constant (1-2
degrees F), but there is a little more fluctuations with the ice method (up
to 5 degrees F).

Stephen J. Van der Hoven
Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
P.O. Box 2008, Mail Stop 6400
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6400
Phone: 423-241-5178 FAX: 423-574-7420

Subject: Re: Moving w/ Mead...
From: Bill Shirley <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 09:59:48 -0600

I moved DC to Houston w/ some mead in the summer. I didn't worry
about it too much, but it was "The Kitchen Sink" mead. Every thing
i had left i put in it: hops, dandelions, ginger, grape juice conc.,
and of course honey. It has yet to clear, but i don't suspect the
move of causing that.

  • bill

Subject: Bunratty Mead
Date: 15 Dec 97 17:10:00 EST

> If you know anyone going to Ireland, have them bring back some Bunratty's
> Mead. Great stuff.

I have to agree. Just went to Ireland this summer, and was fortunate enough
to go the medieval style feast at Bunratty Castle, where I became acquainted
with their mead. It was good enough that I lugged a couple of bottles back
to the U.S. for special occasions( so far, nothig has ranked high enough).

If anyone is interested, I THINK that I may still have the

address/fax#/phone# for Bunratty Castle. They would probably ship it; i have
no idea what shipping might cost.

Matthew Bryson

Subject: Re: Mead Lover's Digest #623, 14 December 1997
From: NL Steve <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 17:48:58 EST

In a message dated 97-12-14 20:38:03 EST, Mr. Dunn writes:

"* Why is the label even allowed in the US, since it's clearly deceptive?

The trademark name "Meade" and the back label go together to create
the impression that this poor, over-sweetened, doctored-up white wine
has some connection to the centuries of history of true mead. The
information on the front label that it's really a white wine is in
light amber on a pale yellow patterned background; it's obvious they
_don't_ want you to find out what it is. I had thought the US BATF was
a lot stickier about such things."

No idea about the U.S. BATF, but in the UK, just adding the "e" to the end of
"mead" means the product itself can be a "doctored-up white wine" instead of a
"mead." Beware of any UK "mead" which spells the word a little differently on
the label.

Subject: Bakers grade honey
From: Randy Ricchi <>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 23:15:07 -0500

I can get a decent price on "Bakers grade honey" which comes from bridsfoot
trefoil. What is meant by "bakers grade"? It's obviously a cheaper grade
of honey. Some mead-makers I know claim it is more flavorful. Are there
impurities, such as wax, pollen, etc. in it that make it less expensive?
Any suggestions on how to use it? TIA.

Subject: commercial mead comments
From: meadmanb <>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 97 05:02:13 -0400

Well since Mike is such a wizard and may very well "bee" the greatest
gift to meadmaking since Odin, (i have yet to taste his mead ) ,I guess
I may as well shut down my winery and go back to selling some other line
of products.

I hope that these types of comments are taken with a big dose of salt by
all readers of the digest. and that they go out and try the commercial
meads available here in the US and Canada before agreeing with such
derisive comments from an unqualified jury of one on this tube.

>Subject: Re: Commercial Meads
>Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 02:04:40 -0800 (PST)

>I would say that with the exception of meads produced in Europe (which are
>generally of very high quality), anyone brewing at home can surpass any of
>the Stateside commercial varieties…
>- -Michael Moynihan

It is general practice at winery tasting rooms to allow samples for free
before visitors make their purchases and my experience is that many folks
do not like mead.

My experience in running this place for only a short period of time is
that many folks don't even like sweet wines or dry wines depending on
their taste buds. Most have never even had a good version of mead so how
are they supposed to react ?

OTOH many of them drool upon themselves like rabid fiends and are biting
at my heels to sell them mead after the first taste. If I can only get
the GD Feds to release my label from the bureaucratic impasse in DC and
get the damn bottles here in one piece ,I will gladly take their money to
make many more barrels of nectar.

So , since Mike is heretofor unqualified as a mead judge , beer judge or
wine expert , please support your US Meadmakers and make up your own
minds about the quality of the industry here.

Bruce P. Stevens – VP & Treasurer – Cask & Hive Winery, Monmouth,ME

I encourage private email replies to this post since I'm trying to figure
out if my new email account and domain name are working.

web page (not set up yet) –

new email address –

Maine is now known as Fermentationland,
not Vacationland like the old license plates!

Subject: Feeding the Must
From: "Chris A. Smith" <>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 12:35:06 +1300

I'm in the process of fermenting a
persimmon mel (20 liters). It has been in
the secondary for about two months
and isn't clear yet (which I kind of
expected). Also, it tastes pretty
sour, which is also kinda
expected since, from all I've read,
mels take a very long time to mellow.
Anyway, it isn't nearly as sweet as
I would like it to be. I'm using
some very thick Korean honey, which
I'd like to add incrementally to the
must. I've tried this once. I added
about 500g of honey by simply pouring
it directly into the carboy. I got some
renewed activity in the airlock. Since the
must is still very cloudy, I can't tell if
any honey is sitting on the bottom undissolved. 🙁
Being a newbie, I'm wondering about procedures
for adding honey at this time:

1. How much should I add at one time?
2. How often should I add?
3. Since this is very thick honey,

should I thin it out with water?
If so, what is the best way
to mix the honey and water (boil/heat/no heat)?

4. Do I need to rouse the yeast? If so, how

should I do this? Should I do it before or
after adding more honey?

Any advise you can offer would be appreciated.

Chris A. Smith
Switching Systems Group
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Seoul, Korea

Subject: methyglyn

I would like to thank all those who reassured me that the bitter bite in
my mead would go away. I tried some tonight and I was really shocked at
how good it tasted. It does, however have a watery taste. does anyone
know if the watery taste will dissapear and become stronger flavor. Just

Subject: juniper mead

I have a recipe for juniper berry wine and I was wondering if anyone has
ever made juniper mead. The idea appeals to me, but I am not quite sure
how many berries to use. Anyone????

End of Mead Lover's Digest #624